I am a contemporary realist painter working in a classical, often narrative vein. My academic background includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and a Masters in Sculpture from the University of New Mexico. The sculpture experience is an important element in my paintings which are strongly three dimensional and encourage one to step into the picture plane.

After university, I spent ten years working for a Fortune 100 company. With the support of my husband I was able to leave the corporate world and focus on creating art as my life’s work. My family and I spent many years in Memphis, Tennessee where I built a successful following throughout the South for my paintings, and served on an advisory committee to the Director of the Brooks Museum of Art. In 2002 we moved to the Connecticut shoreline and I discovered there the amazing quality of  light on the coast that inspired so many American Impressionists.  Ten years later my husband and I have continued our journey — this time to North Carolina.  This beautiful state has so much to offer an artist:  Sweeping skies and farmlands, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the marshes and shores of the coastal region.

My work is found in private and corporate collections throughout the country, particularly in the South and Northeast. Some examples are Morgan Keegan (in six different locations), First Tennessee Bank, and the Florence Griswald Museum. I have been represented by galleries in Memphis, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, Manchester, Vermont, New York City, and Madison, Ct. In addition I am an elected member of the Salmagundi Club in New York City (one of the oldest art organizations in the country) and  an Elected Artist and former Board member of the historic Lyme Art Association.

My focus has largely been on still life and interiors; but more recently I am exploring landscapes . The rich tradition of Dutch still life painting and the intimate scenes of Bonnard and Vuillard are important influences in my work. A less obvious influence is Mark Rothko. I too urge the viewer into my plane of reality; to experience stilled moments of light and to peer into the shadows. I create oases to provide us with a respite from an overwhelming noisy world. My goal is to connect with the viewer on a visceral level – first through light and color. With each painting I say “Quick! Come and catch this moment with me before it is gone!” Stand on the dunes at day’s end and feel the cooling of the air, the quiet that can be heard even above the surf. Walk past a room and see the startling beauty of sunlight on a flower, and how that light plays across the table. A frequent element in my paintings is the felt, but not seen, presence of a figure just passed from view. This encourages a freely imaginative dialogue between the observer and the image. We react to these images physically first, then intellectually, often bringing our own wealth of memories to enrich the narrative.

Most days you’ll find me in front of my easel. Years of studio work and discipline are key to mastering my subject matter and upholding the traditions of classical painting. The hard work, however, is really passion. I have to do this. It is who I am.

 Currently some of Cora Ogden’s works can be found at Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison, CT and Bev’s Fine Art, Raleigh, North Carolina.